Motorcycle madness

There are so many more arguments against riding a motorcycle than riding a motorcycle. Here are some: you could die, you could be paralyzed or horribly disfigured, you can be hit because cars don’t see or hear you coming. Basically, this is the stuff you hear all the time….from people who do not ride on motorcycles. I want to inform you about the other argument: why you should ride on a motorcycle, at least once, just give it a shot if you ever get the chance. These are the things that happen when you do.

Number one, you will experience life. That’s it in a nutshell, you will experience what it is like to be alive. Why is the “motorcycle life” always depicted as some outrageous activity pursued by independant, socially segregated rule breaking people, who have no consideration for anyone who is living the status quo? Because it is such a different type of experience, that after living in it constantly, they may have difficulty relating to such rules. Here’s the downlow….

While riding on a bike, you feel all of your senses at 100% peak optimization. You know those rides in Universal Studio or Disney World where you sit in a chair in front of a huge surround-sound screen, and every single movement is translated into the chair? You are bounced and shifted around, hear things coming at you from all directions, and see limitlessly? Yea, well, it’s not even close. You are sitting on an 800 pound machine (or more) that is rumbling underneath your butt, while being propulsed rapidly along city streets and country roads. This is exciting to say the least, but also you are envisioning everything from all directions. Hawks flying overhead, cloud formations, trees and animals, people and buildings. It’s like you’ve never seen this before. It amazes me how much more I notice about my surroundings while on a bike, than in a car.

There is wind, smell, variations in temperature, and the occasional shock of a large bump. I know what you’re thinking right now. Sounds dangerous, or scary. I’m still not convinced. But life is a paradox, and this is included. When I wrap my legs around the guy driving (just one guy, my boyfriend!), tap him on the sides to say “I’m ready”, and that machine starts rumbling out of the driveway, everything melts away. It is truly mechanized meditation. It’s a meditation machine. This is an example of the thought process:

“It’s a beautiful day, I feel so warm, the breeze feels great. Look at that bird…is that a hawk? Where did that building come from? I don’t remember that from last time. Is he going left here…nope, he’s going right. Oh yea, we’re probably going past that reservoir. Look at the kids swimming, I bet that’s cold. I think there’s a siren behind us. NO, it’s on the next road. That cloud looks like a feather, but it’s moving fast…..etc. etc. etc. etc….”

After clearing that stream of consciousness, the water dries up. There is no more thought. I sometimes tighten my abdominal muscles when the driver revs up really fast, or lift my butt an inch when I see the railroad tracks coming. I’m not thinking about work, the house, my kids, what I have to do later, I am simply being. THAT is what riding on a motorcycle does for me, and I love it.

I will talk him into taking me every chance I get when we have the time to do it. Last night we left the house at 8 and didn’t get back until 10. It is summer, and the light was just leaving the sky. Every cloud had a silver lining, and the blue color was turning pink. The road to the reservoir was winding and free, the boats on the water were heading for the dock…we saw 5 deer off the sides of the road and a huge water bird (don’t know the identity) flying across the road right in front of us. It was a great experience. Two years ago we met his sister and her husband in Arizona and rented big cruiser bikes. We road 1000 miles in under a week. It had to be one of the most fun vacations I ever took. We went wherever we felt, when we felt it, and had no plans or reservations at all. It was truly awesome.

So, the next time you see a motorcyclist, remember, he could be an occasional rider getting a great experience, or a chronic experiencer just trying to function in your status quo world. Give him a break, it takes all kinds. If you ever get the chance to go around the block and aren’t sure, just give in, you’ll be glad you did. I didn’t sit on a bike until I turned 46, so it’s never too late grandma. I hope you get to experience something like this in your lifetime, and if you don’t, maybe the next. Take it easy rider…..